Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sihaya and Company: Sisterhood of the Moon

I can't remember how this company came across my awareness. I want to say it was shared in the Arcana Addicts group on Facebook. Regardless, once I saw what amazing goodies were inside the October box at Sihaya and Company I bought it immediately. Sihaya and Company makes and sells candles and curates a monthly box that usually follows a theme and showcases various artisan and handcrafted items from a variety of vendors. October's box was titled Sisterhood of the Moon and cost $65 plus shipping for 8 items.

The box arrived packaged beautifully. Everything was snug and tight and secure. A handwritten note was included and one of the first things I took out was this awesome enamel lapel pin from Bird Ov Prey ($10) called Vein Moth. It has two pins with double rubber backings for secure placement with little movement. I wore it to NYC and my purse strap caught on it often but it never fell off and held its ground quite well. I quite enjoy it and wear it often now. 

This face scrub and mask combo from Kore Herbal Alchemy ($20) is pretty much everything I want in a face exfoliate. The glacier silt makes for a super fine but highly effective particulate for removing dead skin cells. It smells of chilled juniper. It contains plant based glycerin and activated charcoal. I have used this multiple times and have enjoyed the results and experience each time. I am purchasing this separately very soon to have on hand when this one runs out.

Sihaya and Company usually adds a candle ($12) of their own making to each box from what I can tell. This candle is 8 ounces and is housed in a tin with a lid and lovely label. 

Sisterhood of the Moon- Notes: Amber, crackling fires, woody oakmoss and warm vanilla. 
This candle burns by my bedside and smells lovely. Not overly smoky but you can tell it is a sweet amber and fire scent. It smells elegant yet cozy. The throw is about medium to medium-light in my bedroom. It is tunneling a little bit and not burning to the edges but it may be that I am not burning it for long enough periods of time too. I light it and burn it for about 3-4 hours when I get home from work until I go to bed. The glitter shimmers and dances when it is lit at night. I am enjoying this candle immensely and will be open to buying another one in the future. Their winter candle scents tempt me.

The Potion Cabinet is a bath and body vendor who operates out of Etsy and they included a bath bomb scented in Moon Magick ($6). It was an artistic bath bomb of blue and grey with a circle of moons in various phases on the front. I went to open it and take photos without the wrapping and it crumbled hopelessly. I was bummed I failed at capturing it but I just swept it up and plopped it into my bath tub where I enjoyed it all the same. It was a cedar, wood, citrus and musk blend that invoked feelings of serenity and peace while lounging in the warm waters. 

A vegan lotion bar ($5) in the form of a Ouija board planchette came in the box as well from Sophireaptress. The fragrance reminds me of golden oakmoss, a touch of pine laden lavender and a whiff of earthy patchouli. Smells lovely. And it performs wonderfully as a lotion. I enjoy how these cocoa and shea butter solid lotion bars feel so silky smooth on the skin. I would buy this again for sure.

Next up are two items that go quite well together. Tea and sugar. Dryad Tea in Black Cats and Pointy Hats ($6.50) is a black tea blend that combines apples, pomegranates and mulled spices. While Dem Bones sugar cube skulls ($3) make the perfect sweetener. You can choose these skulls in either original or absinthe formula. Absinthe formula is a finer grain sugar for use with.. well... absinthe. The original has quite a fine texture as it is and dissolves quite well in hot tea and coffee. I find one skull is the perfect amount of sweetness. I have not had a chance to try the tea yet but I am thinking it will make for a festive and cheerful holiday blend to savor over the next month or so.

Now. If I am honest with myself. This is the reason I pulled the trigger so ding dang fast on this box. Julia from Arcana contributed a limited edition scent in Hexen Moon ($19) to the box. 

Hexen Moon- Notes: Wildcrafted black spruce, organic vetiver, blood cedar, balsam fir, Port Orford cedar, smoky oudh, bitter wormwood, lightly sugared pumpkin and burning mallow.
In the bottle, grassy vetiver with fibrous roots, heavy with damp earth, curl around the edges of the scent. Pressed into the flesh, that earthy vetiver remains and then is joined by cedars growing tall and stout from the grassy earth. These cedars are primitive and stark, sharp and aromatic. After some time the cedars and evergreens are tempered by faint sweetness rising to the top like so much toasted vanilla pumpkin goodness. The sweet is more boozy and heady rather than bakery or gourmand. It is the sweetness in the core of a misunderstood heart. I love the journey this scent takes me on. 

All in all I am looking forward to following Sihaya and Company much more closely. I tried to snag an Athena's Army box but it fled very quickly as it was a fundraiser for someone in the indie perfume community. I hope whomever it was to benefit is doing alright. I feel the value is well worth the price paid. All the products were high quality and well curated.

Would this box be something you would be interested in? What would you look forward to sampling in a box such as this? 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Melting Basket 110

The Halloween wax I loved from the last basket and would happily purchase again included: MooScents The Rumpkin (if they ever come back), The Bathing Garden Haunted Hayride, Dessa's October, all the Lasting Scent Candles scents and CFTKR Pumpkin Lager and Full Moon if it ever comes back.

Beezy- Pumpkin Caramel Swirl
Beezy- Cider Lan
Beezy- Pumpkin Sugar Donuts (melted this already and it was incredible, threw strong, smells great)
Vintage Chic Scents- You'll Never Walk Alone
Dessa's- Pumpkin Farm
Dessa's- Pumpkin Wreath Woods
CFTKR- Butternut Pumpkin
CFTKR- Sugared Amber and Plum
CFTKR- Orange Clove
Rosegirls- Wisconsin Woods
Sniff My Tarts- Marshmallow Fireside/Toasted Marshmallow/Graham Cracker/Fireside

If you would like any of these reviewed just give me a holler. 

November. What are you doing to me? The highs of traveling with the lows of illness. I brought an ear infection back with my from New York City. This is easily the busiest week at work yet. I am pumped for the holidays but not checking off that list like I normally do. And I am looking at the date and going "how the heck is November already more than half over?!" 

I am drowning myself in books as of late before my courses start back up. I devoured A Green and Ancient Light and now I am deep into Murder on the Orient Express. Stranger Things 2 is on the tube when Adam and I get a chance to watch an episode. Just finished the 9th Chapter tonight. Boy howdy. 

What are you asking for the holidays this year? Any wishes on your list?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Solstice Scents: Fall Part II Release

When Angela at Solstice Scents releases bath salts... I am there with bells on. But let me back up a minute and let us enjoy the lovely experience that is opening up a fall release from Solstice Scents. Look at those colors. The wee putka pods, moss and twigs. I love it all. 

The cards and handwritten notes are always a pleasure to keep and tuck away. 

I had three scents in my cart but one hopped out so I ended up with Foxcroft and Wail of the Banshee. The bath salts were $10 each with a shipping of $12. 

Foxcroft is a scent I know and love from Solstice Scents.

Angela paints with notes in a very real sense. Skeletons of leaves, bones breaking, the husks of chloroplasts shattering, rain on the dank humus below. This trembling copse on the outskirts of a quaint New England village lays its leaves to rest one after the other in the eucalyptus breeze. A rickety wooden rail fence lines the rutted road, pointing splintered fingers towards town and the chimneys casting smoke clouds into the grey sky. Take one last whiff of the tiny wood before stepping toward Foxcroft. The blonde mahogany and birch will linger, a farewell kiss on the flesh.

These were my thoughts on the scent in the past and I feel the same today. 

I love using the Dead Sea Salt Milk Bath. I usually get about 3-4 baths from each 8 ounce tub. The salts and essential oils nourish the skin and relax the muscles. It makes for a fragrant and uplighting bathing ritual.

Wail of the Banshee is an earthy aquatic fragrance. Moss and woods, cedar and ocean mist all hover of the bath waters when this is poured in. Moody, atmospheric and evocative, this cast a haunting spell that whispers of places long forgotten, coastlines long unexplored and the murky waters that bleed like veins between brine filled waters and brackish swamps. I absolutely swoon over it.

Sea of Gray- Notes: Vanilla rain, saltwater, seaweed, ambergris, white amber, toasted seashells, white sandalwood, frangipani.
If you have ever wondered what it smells like to go beach-combing during an overcast chilly gloomy morning... this opening is it. As a Floridian who have hunted seashells for countless miles during all types of weather and on both sides of the coast from Gulf to Atlantic, panhandle to the keys, this captures that aroma. That feeling. Sandy mineral laden seashells crunching and grinding beneath the soles of my feet, shapes of corkscrews and sharks' eyes, full moons and teepees, the pastel rainbow of a pearlescent sheen glowing or colors so vibrant as to mock the sunset that they reflect every dusk. Iodine and salt and that tell tale sign that something alive and marine used to dwell within the miniature castle of calcium carbonate lingers in the opening as well. Vanilla washes up on the shoreline in foamy scuds on the crests of lapping waves. The grit of sand and shells never leaves completely but the vanilla slowly piles up to form the heart of the scent.  

Sea of Gray has stolen this mermaid's heart. 

What are you bathing in this fall? Have you ever smelled a perfume that took you to a specific place or time? 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Vartan Perfumes: Tealights and Fragrances

These products were sent free from Vartan Perfumes for reviewing purposes. All opinions my own, as always.

Vartan Perfumes is a house I follow on IG. I find myself admiring the styling, scent descriptions and overall aesthetic of the brand. Kristen Vartan, the house perfumer and owner, is a kind and talented woman. We have interacted via IG for a while now and many of her creations have piqued my interest. I look forward to sharing these aromas with you that she so kindly shared with me.

All items came packaged beautifully. Samples were sent in glassine envelopes and closed with a custom wax seal. Pure elegance.

This sample set of four tealights can be purchased for $8 and is a nice way to try the scents before investing in a full sized candle for $22.

Spice- Notes: Autumnal leaves, sweet spice bread, mulled cider and the scents of fall.
This is a beautifully sweet and dreamy fall scent. It does smell of creamy spice. A touch gourmand with a whisper of apple cider and spiced cakes but there is a vanilla laced amber warmth lurking within as well. It had a nice throw for a tealight. About medium on my nightstand. Easily detectable.

Verve- Notes: Ginger, dried lavender, lemongrass and fresh herbs.
Verve is a beautifully blended herbal aroma fertile with tender shoots of lavender and kitchen herbs all arrayed in the windowsill. Fresh and clean while being natural and refined. This one appeared to me a touch lighter than Spice and Autumn in throw so not sure how it will perform in the larger candle version but it was nice and airy.

Amulet- Notes: Warm amber, black pepper and smoky peat.
Sweet and viscous amber oozes with decadent notes like candied suede and vanilla tobacco. I love this scent. It threw about medium-strong in the bedroom and smelled lovely. 

Autumn- Notes: Ripe black currants, clove, toasty French oak, and hints of vanilla.
This is one stunning scent if you like woods. The oak shimmers with gilded leaves and sun-drenched warmth. There is a vein of vanilla woods and amber light weaved among the oaken boughs. It gave a nice throw that scented my bedroom in a mist of autumnal woods.

Out of the four tealights I sampled I could see myself purchasing Amulet for year 'round burning and Spice and Autumn... well... probably all year too! I really enjoyed those three in both scent and throw.

A set of all three, Garden Dewdrop, Library and Carnelian, can be purchased as small samples for $6. These are in EDP formulas.

Library- Notes: Bergamot, aged leather, fig leaf, barrel aged whiskey, cigar box tobacco, sandalwood and musk.
Top notes sparkle with bergamot and creamy green fig leaves like so much sunshine filtering through lobed leaves, a silhouette reflecting in the Library's windows. Then quickly a studious heart of wooden shelves and vellum pages unfolds as the Library opens up. The foundation of Library smells of white musk motes and again, creamy returns to book end both the beginning and end but this time in the form of creamy sandalwood.

Garden Dewdrop- Notes: Cucumber, ginger spice, violets, lily blossoms, iris and sandalwood.
Powdery violets and papery lilies embellished with crystal dew drops bracket the entrance to the garden. Strolling further into its tender heart, the earthy yet refined musk of iris greets the nose, their purple corollas nodding in salutation. The backbone of the deep garden is a thin copse of woodland that still has some iris scattered about the tree line. I love the smooth earthy floral tones of this perfume but I do love my violets and iris.

Carnelian- Notes: Cinnamon, black pepper, blonde tobacco, vetiver, spicy carnation, amber, vanilla and tonka bean.
Carnelian cuts into the top notes with fiery spice and pepper. Shades of orange and red vibrate and shine. The carnation and golden tobacco heart gleam like a cabochon, polished and glass smooth yet warm. The drydown mellows into a powdery vanilla amber haze.

The next two perfumes are in perfume oil format and 0.5ml samples can be purchased for $8.00 each.

Air- Notes: Citrus, spice, lotus flower, dried fruit, French oak and sandalwood.
Aged bergamot and just on the edge of overripe oranges drift along the skin. The glassine edges of lotus petals emerge piece by aquatic piece, smelling of bulb flowers like lilies and hyacinth and paperwhites. This is the air over a still water pond brimming with lily pads and blossoms. The drydown pulls the woods forward, closer to the pond's edge.

Rose Ritual- Notes: Earthy soil, creamy vanilla, plush red roses, soft woods, spice, toasted caramel.
Spicy roses grow leggy and wild under an arbor of oak trees. The tannic oak leaves litter the ground with their softly acidic earthiness and nourish the roses. Untamed and unapologetic roses, abundant and willful. A true rose scent for rose lovers. 

I enjoyed sniffing around the Vartan collection of fragrances. I plan on revisiting Library and Garden Dewdrop and squeezing in a full sized candle in either Amulet, Spice or Autumn. It will be hard to narrow it down. Do you enjoy lighting tealights? What is the last perfume you sampled?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Kings Road Apothecary: Tulsi and Pinon Surprise Box

I previously featured a body oil I purchased from Kings Road Apothecary not too long ago and it spurred on a desire to acquaint myself further with Rebecca's wares. She creates and sells these Surprise Boxes themed around particular ingredients that can be used to mediate or enhance certain health concerns or situations. These boxes run $56 each and come with 4 items. They can be ordered individually or as a yearly subscription. I opted for just one box for now but that may change.

This Tulsi & Pinon box inspired Rebecca to hone in on holy basil (aka tulsi, aka the queen of herbs) and its power to help mitigate stress. She blended up holy basil with pine to concoct many wonderful potions for both the body, mind and soul. She packaged everything wonderfully. All items are housed in glass bottles and those were wrapped in crinkle paper and tucked in copious mounds of it as well as folded into a scrap of linen. Note cards to educate one on the properties of holy basil and recipes and ideas were printed on vellum and cardstock and presented beautifully.

Tulsi and Pinon Elixir is a tincture to be taken one dropper full orally as needed for a boost to deal with stress that may be encroaching or anticipated. It tastes like moonshine medicine with a back note of pine and astringent herbs. I have taken this from time to time and though I cannot say with any scientific proof that it works... I do feel I have been able to cope with some extreme stressors in a semi-functional manner. I have my faith, and I will say this didn't hurt to have too.  I did pick up her Elderberry Elixir which supports immunity. As a teacher I am eager for that one to ship out to me. Cold and flu season is thickly upon me. ($16)

This is in a similar vein as the Deep Woods body oil but this one oozes that herbal basil and is more aromatic than the jammy evergreen I get from Deep Woods. I love it. I use it on my face and body after bathing. ($29)

Holy Basil and Pinon Syrup is for use in teas, drinks, desserts and whatever you may wish to sweeten. I drizzled some on my vanilla ice cream for a piney treat and I really enjoyed using it in my afternoon tea for an ethereal magical woods experience. I have to admit I drained this very quickly and readily look forward to sampling more of her syrups. I adore them in hot tea. ($15)

Speaking of tea... this Smoky Tulsi and Bramble Tea takes my beloved lapsang souchong to a whole new woodsy level. Lapsang souchong is married to pinon pine nuts, blackberries, tulsi, vanilla and puerh tea. It is deeply smoky, woodsy and rich. My only wish is that the jar was bottomless. This will be my winter staple. ($18) 

I enjoyed this box immensely and look forward to trying more Kings Road Apothecary Surprise Boxes. I feel it is a nice value for hand harvested ingredients used to craft hand made products for better health and happiness. If you love teas, body oils and unique bath and food items I think this might be right up your alley. 

Do you try and use more natural or holistic means to care for your body? Have you ever wild harvested plants for use in concoctions?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FuturePrimitive Soap Co.: Fall Purchase

I mentioned picking up a couple more goodies from Tiggy at FuturePrimitive not so long ago. It wasn't a large order but it hit the sweet spot. 

I have greatly enjoyed catching Tiggy live filming on her IG stories from time to time. One of those videos showcased her whipping up a batch of Bath Milk Tea and and it had me jonesing for a bit more of that in my bathing ritual. And The Gloaming is a dreamy scent to experience in that format. 

The Gloaming features a cold wind, snow, campfire and marshmallows. It is breathtaking in the wax formula and just as divine in the Bath Milk Tea. It truly smells of a chill late autumn or early winter twilight where bonfires roar and sweets provide a cozy nightcap. The Bath Milk Tea dissolves beautifully in the warm placid waters and creates a milky and fragrant mineral bath that relaxes and soothes both the mind and body.  

Mama Didn't Listen So I Told The Bees is a soap I have enjoyed and used before and with Tiggy's new bar design I couldn't resist grabbing one again. The notes include blossom honey, cedar hives and local meadow flowers. I do adore the springy freshness of this multilayered beauty. The meadows and flowers nod white and yellow crowns of orange blossom, neroli, daisy and jasmine. There are unripe lemons and wild oranges peeking behind the blossoms. I cannot wait to use this to usher in spring.

Look at this gorgeousness. I almost hate to chop it up... but I know how amazing a treat it will be in the shower and know it will be well worth it. 

What are you bathing with? Are you plotting or pondering any winter releases for bath and body?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Scrimshaw Pottery

Nicole, the silversmith over at Arrok, you know... the talented lady I keep bombarding you with in my Mermaid Treasure series... she posted a photo of one of these amazing hand thrown pottery mugs and my heart flip flopped in my chest. Thankfully she tagged the maker. I hustled my fanny over to Scrimshaw Pottery on Etsy and purchased one lickety split.

Each mug is crafted by hand from the pottery to the drawing, no stencils and no decals. How flipping amazing is that?! The sheer level of detail blows my mind and the artistry calls to me. 

There is an anchor at the base of the handle and each piece is signed.

Check out that aqua hue.

The shape of the mug lends itself to warm cradling and it holds a generous portion of coffee, about 14 ounces. Ben has a nice choice of offerings in his store almost all the time, so no hassle of speed ordering. If you have any nautical nerds in your life these would make a thoughtful gift. There is a gilded narwal mug I keep eyeing. The whales are pretty spectacular too. And how great do my sugar skulls go with the wee Jolly Roger flag? I may need one more in order to make a proper set of two. 

Are you thinking of holiday shopping yet? I have been so bad this year. Normally I am almost done by now but life keeps knocking me back a few steps. I have one gift for one of my sisters and one gift for the girls and that is it. I need to catch up.